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(P)NFG: A Language and Runtime System for Structured Computer Narratives.

Pickett, Christopher J.F.; Verbrugge, Clark; Martineau,; Felix,

In: Game-ON NA 2005: 1st International North American Conference on Intelligent Games and Simulation, pages 23-32. August 2005.

Abstract: Complex computer game narratives can suffer from logical consistency and playability problems if not carefully constructed, and current, state of the art design tools do little to help analysis or ensure good narrative properties. A formally-grounded system that allows for relatively easy design and analysis is therefore desireable. We present a language and an environment for expressing game narratives based on a structured form of Petri Net, the Narrative Flow Graph. Our ``(P)NFG'' system provides a simple, high level view of narrative programming that maps onto a low level representation suitable for expressing and analysing game properties. The (P)NFG framework is demonstrated experimentally by modelling narratives based on non-trivial interactive fiction games, and integrates with the NuSMV model checker. Our system provides a necessary component for systematic analysis of computer game narratives, and lays the foundation for all-around improvements to game quality.

Keywords: games, verification, compiler, language, application.

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